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Responses to Fukuyama 
The editors invited six comments, representing diverse disciplines and viewpoints, on "The End of History?" 
Robert Tucker} Quarterly at the end of the issue also bears on the subject. 
Allan Bloom 
UKUYAMA'S BOLD and brilliant 
article, which he surely does not 
present as the last word, is the first word in 
a discussion imperative for us, we faithful de- 
fenders of the Western Alliance. Now that it 
appears that we have won, what are we and 
what are we to do? This glorious victory, if 
victory it really is, is the noblest achievement 
of democracy, a miracle of steadfastness on 
the part of an alliance of popular govern- 
ments, with divided authorities and changing 
leaderships, over a fifty year period. What is 
more, this victory is the victory of justice, of 
freedom over tyranny, the rallying of all good 
and reasonable men and women. Never has 
theory so dominated practice in the history 
of human affairs, relieving the monotony of 
the meaningless rise and fall of great powers. 
As Fukuyama underlines, it is the ideas of free- 
dom and equality that have animated the West 
and have won by convincing almost all na- 
tions that they are true, by destroying the 
intellectual and political foundations of alter- 
native understandings of justice. The chal- 
lenges to the West from fascism and com- 
munism were also ideas, formulated to oppose 
the success of the historical embodiments of 
Enlightenment principles which swept the 
world after the American and French Revo- 
lutions. Both fascism and communism con- 
stituted themselves as the enemies of the bour- 
geois, the unfiattering description of the citizen 
of modern liberal democracy. Fukuyama's re- 
jection of the various reductionist accounts, 
such as those of economic determinism or 
power politics, of the struggle against these 
twin threats is certainly fully justified. It is 
not that accounts of the kind are ignoble and 
take away the gloriousness and freedom from 
human deeds. It is simply that they cannot 
accurately describe or explain the phenomena 
and must distort them to fit their rigid molds. 
This fifty years of opposition to fascism 
and communism provided us with clear moral 
and political goals, but they were egative. 
We took our orientation from the evil we 
faced, and it brought out the best in us. The 
threat from outside disciplined us inside while 
protecting us from too much depressing re- 
flection on ourselves. The global nature of the 
conflicts we were engaged in imposed an un- 
precedented uniformity on the world. It has 
been liberalism--or else. The practical disas- 
ter of the anti-liberal Right and Left has in 
general been taken to be a refutation of the 
theories which supported Or justified them. 
Now, however, all bets are off. The glance 
back towards ourselves, as Fukuyama indi- 
cates, is likely to be not entirely satisfying. It 
appears that the world has been made safe for 
reason as understood by the market, and we 
are moving toward a global common market 
the only goal of which is to minister to men's 
bodily needs and whims. The world has been 
demystified, and at the end of history all the 
struggles and all the higher dedications and 
The National lnterest-Surnmer 1989 19 
myths turn out to have served only to satisfy 
the demands of man's original animality. 
Moreover, with the loss of our negative pole 
of orientation, one can expect a profuse flow- 
ering of positive demands, liberated from 
Cold War sobriety and reflecting the non-ra- 
tionalized residue of human longing. There 
;i-be-movements agitating for the comple - 
tion of the project of equality in all possible, 
and impossible, ways. Religion and national- 
sm will also be heard from in the name of 
higher callings. 
KojSve's decision to spend the hours 
when he was not philosophizing as a bureau- 
crat preparing the ground for the Common 
Market was his response to the atmosphere of 
existential despair so fashionable in France 
after the war. He said he wanted to re-estab- 
lish the Roman Empire, but this time its goal 
would be a multi-national soccer team. A se- 
rious man, he implied, would adapt himself 
to the vulgarities which would necessarily ac- 
company the dull business of providing for 
all equally and the suppression of the anom- 
alies of nation, class, sex, and religion. The 
existence of the Soviet Union which, accord- 
ing to Kojve, professed that its inten. tion was 
to establish the universal homogenous state, 
was forcing the West to actualize the like 
promise contained in its principles. All snob- 
bismswhich is how he described the various 
reactions against equality--were being extin- 
guished. This is a universal movement. The 
science, natural and political, of the West has 
won in the non-Western world, and it is large- 
ly Western nostalgia that wants those old, 
rooted cultures to be preserved when those 
who belong to them no longer really want 
them and their grounds have disappeared in 
the light of reason. 
And it must be underlined that for Kojve 
and Kojve's Hegel we are at the end of his- 
tory because reason has won, the real has be- 
come rational. Socrates' dialectic has come to 
an historic end (in both senses of end, final 
and perfect), because the last contradictions 
have been resolved. Everything that stood in 
the way of the reciprocal recognition of men's 
dignity as men always and everywhere has 
been refuted and buried by history, i.e. the 
supra rational claims of_religipn, nt!o9, _fam- 
!ly, c_s, and_race. For the first time there are 
no essential contradictions between our rea- 
son and our duties or loyalties. Thus the 
world is now a feast for reason, replacing pie- 
ty. What was a project of Enlightenment has, 
through history, become a part of being. The 
historicist who is also a rationalist must hold 
that there is an end of history, for otherwise 
there could be no knowledge and every prin- 
ciple, every frame of reference, would be im- 
permanent and changing, even historicism it- 
self. The end of history is both a philosophic 
necessity and a political fulfillment, each sup- 
porting and enhancing the other. The goal of 
philosophy, wisdom, is attained, and that of 
politics, freedom and equality, is simulta- 
neously reached. 
There are elements of Kojve's thought 
about the end of history to which Fukuyama 
does not give sufficient weight. The goodness 
of the end of history, and for KojSve it is good, 
consists in the possibility of unconstrained 
philosophizing and in the moral recognition 
of all human beings as ends in themselves. 
Fukuyama's presentation emphasizes the gray 
uniformity of life in "the post-historical" 
world. He says, "The end of history will be 
a very sad time," and almost predicts that he 
will rebel against it in order to get history 
started all over again. He finds the satisfac- 
tions presented by Kojve paltry, so paltry he 
does not mention them. However, rebellion 
against history is not criminal, Kojve would 
say, but foolish. To do so would be to rebel 
against reason, which no sensible man can do. 
Of course, Fukuyama doubts that these 
satisfactions are as real as Kojve says they 
are. If wisdom, the owl of Minerva, flies at 
dusk, as Hegel says it does, is it not evident 
that the end of history is a night? Does the 
attainment of wisdom not mean the end of 
philosophizing? And is the peace and reci- 
procity of the market really moral or is iter_d _- 
like calm? Does not, finally, Kojve's thinking 
through of Hegel and Marx, the proroundest 
thinking through of that position, amount to 
a refutation of the claim that the end is a peak 
20 The National Interest--Summer 1989 
and of the possibility that reality can ever be 
rational? 
Kojlve himself is the source of Fukuya- 
ma's doubts about the goodness of the end of 
history. In his later writings there is much to 
suggest that he began to believe that we are 
witnessing the ultimate trivialization of man 
and his reentry into the merely animal order. 
These writings were very witty, but one won- 
ders whether he quite had the right to them. 
The note on Ja_p_ inserted in the second edi- 
tion of Introduction to Reading Hegel to which 
Fukuyama refers is a case in point. I disagree 
with his interpretation of it. Kojve did not 
mean that in Japan history had not ended, but 
rather that there they had invented, centuries 
ago during a long peaceful period, an inter- 
esting way of spending the end of history: a 
.pure snobbism of forms, like the tea cere- 
mony, flower arrangement, and the No play, 
which provide graceful empty activity. The 
alternative to the Japanese formalist is the 
American consumer--stereos, power tools, 
etc. This he suggested would be the post-his- 
torical contest for the taste of the universal 
homogenous state: the Japanization of Amer- 
ica vs. the Americanization of Japan. Nothing 
is at stake. 
It would seem that Kojive had moved, or 
had always been, closer to Nietzsche's inter- 
pretation of modern man as the "last man" 
than to Hegel's description of him. The "last 
man" is such a degraded being that he nec- 
essarily evokes nausea and revolt. And if, as 
Nietzsche believed, the "last man" is the ul- 
timate product of reason, then reason is bad 
and we must look more closely to unreason 
for hope of salvation. God is dead, and we 
need new gods. The consequences of this anal- 
ysis are earth-shaking, and this is the thought 
of the most modern modernity. Certainly Fu- 
kuyama points in this direction. 
These issues were addressed in a stunning 
debate between Kojlve and Leo Strauss con- 
mined in Strauss's On Tyranny. This may well 
be the proroundest public confrontation be- 
tween two philosophers in this century, and 
the most important task of these remarks is 
to point' the readers to it, as Fukuyama has 
pointed us to Koj&ve. They were friends, at 
the peak of their powers, differing completely 
about the answers while agreeing about the 
questions, and able to discuss the weightiest 
matters with levity. In it Strauss depicts the 
irrational culmination of Koj&ve's reason and 
asks whether the fate of reason is simply iden- 
tical to that of Hegel. Must reading for today. 
Their clarity about the problems enabled 
them to see thirty-five years ago what we feel 
now. 
To conclude, liberalism has won, but it 
may be decisively unsatisfactory. Commu- 
nism was a mad extension of liberal ration- 
alism, and everyone has seen that it neither 
works nor is desirable. And, although fascism 
was defeated on the battlefield, its dark pos- 
sibilities were not seen through to the end. If 
an alternative is sought there is nowhere else 
to seek it. I would suggest that fascism has a 
future, if not the future. Much that Fukuyama 
says points in that direction. The facts do too. 
The African and Near Eastern nations, which 
for some reason do not succeed easily at mod- 
ernity, have temptations to find meaning and 
self-assertion in varieties of obscurantism. 
The European nations, _which can find no ra- 
tional grqund for the exclusion of countless 
potential immigrants from their homelands, 
look back to their national myths. And the 
American Left has enthusiastically embraced 
the fascist arguments against modernity and 
Eurocentrism--understood as rationalism. 
However this may be, Fukuyama has intro- 
duced practical men to the necessity of phi- 
losophy, now that ideology is dead or dying, 
for those who want to interpret our very new 
situation. 
Allan Bloom is a profissor on the Committee on 
Social Tbougbt at the University of Chicago. 
Responses to F#kuyama 21